Have you noticed that commitment is not a popular concept these days? It’s now common to hear this sentiment, “How can you possibly be married to the same person for a lifetime?”
In marriage counseling, I sit with many who come from broken homes. They were the victims of hideous divorce proceedings and custody arrangements. They question whether love for a lifetime is even possible. Women often can’t believe that men will do anything but use them and discard them. Men have a hard time believing that they aren’t a woman’s financial plan until something better shows up.
So we have a society of people with one foot on one side of the commitment issue and one foot always ready to leave if their partner isn’t doing it for them. We are obsessed with weddings, yet at the same time we belong to a culture of throw-away marriages. Trial marriages are in vogue. Many believe commitment is a fool’s dream.
Commitment is the principle of a meaningful existence.
Commitment is the critical decision that makes all other decisions possible. A marriage can only be as healthy as the commitment on which it is founded. A life can only be as grounded as the commitment on which it stands.
Those of us who call ourselves Christ followers are awed by God’s commitment to us. This commitment is not based on our performance. It is based on God’s character. God is love! We as Christ followers are called to live that commitment out in our human relationships.
If you don’t believe that God’s love for you is unconditional, you will question whether unconditional is even possible. Short of God’s empowering presence and love in our individual lives, it isn’t.
Carolyn Weber in her memoir, “Surprised by Oxford”, ( 2011) has one of her characters, Dr. Sterling, a scientist talk to a waiter about God.
His words were, “There is nothing more powerful, more radical, more transformational than love. No other source, or substance or force. And do not be deceived for it is all these things, and then some! Often folks like to dismiss it as a mere emotion, but it is far more than that. It can’t be circumscribed by our desires or dictated by the whim of our moods. Not the Great Love of the Universe, as I like to call it. Not the love that set everything in motion, keeps it in motion, which moves through all things and yet bulldozes nothing, not even our will. Try it. Just try it and you’ll see. If you love that Great Love first, because it loves you first, and then love yourself as you have been loved, and then love others from that love…WOW! BAM!… Life without faith is death. For life, as it was intended to be, is love. Start loving and you’ll really start living. There is no other force in the universe comparable to that.”
God’s great love commitment is forever. He is going the distance with each of us. He doesn’t just put up with us, He commits to us with faithfulness and love. He loves us with abandon! He is in this relationship with us, His children, with His entire heart for the long haul whether we are acting loveable or not. This is no lightweight commitment!
God made an unconditional commitment to us. Now He calls us to make such a commitment to our mate. Since God, not our mate, is our source of love, He also promises to help us keep our commitment to each other.
When we express our vows to each other on our wedding day, we are adopting a long-range view. We are making a promise not only to our lover we are also making a promise to God. We are asking God to be the source of our love to our LifeMate.
Marriage is the only public profession of unconditional love left in our world!
On our wedding day, we are putting our conviction on the line and crossing it. We are unreservedly committing to love our beloved through life’s ups and downs. There are no loopholes and no conditions. We are dedicating our life to being the lover of our wife/husband with all that that will entail. From that moment on, “married” is a huge part of our identity.
We are both an “I” and an “US”!
What does commitment mean? Does it mean…
- That we will never argue, struggle, disagree, disappoint or lose it with each other?
- That we will be immune from trouble, betrayal, and struggle?
- That we will be connected and feel loving all the time?
- That we’ll no longer be irked by each other?
- That we really know each other?
Of course the answer is “No” to all of these questions.
Commitment does mean that we’ve chosen to lock the escape hatch and throw away the key. If going isn’t an option, then the only other healthy choice is growing.
Are you willing to become a conscious lover who locks the escape hatch and throws away the key? It’s only possible if you have experienced the unconditional love from the first and only truly Conscious Lover, the Great Lover of the universe.
Until the next Conscious Lover’s Blog…